TENNIS Zimbabwe's 14-and-Under team to compete at the Africa Junior Championships in Tunisia left the country yesterday with high hopes they will make it beyond the opening rounds of the event. All participating teams should be in Tunisia today ahead of the matches starting tomorrow.
The event runs until November 22.
The Zimbabwean team is made up of Nathan Tsaura, Tashinga Mtisi, Tatenda Chivenga and Malachi Harry who will compete in the boys section while Kudzai Chapepa, Zahara El Zein, Ruvarashe Magarira and Tinotenda Chipfakacha will represent the country in the girls category.
The team is under the guidance of coach Alison Fryer.
The players were picked based on their Confederation of African Tennis rankings and Tennis Zimbabwe manager, Cliff Nhokwara, said they are confident of positive results from Tunisia.
"So there will be country placement for boys and placement for girls. They combine each category's results. "Indeed we are playing with the best in Africa, that's why it's called Africa Junior Championships. But nonetheless the four players selected (in each category) did very well in the Bulawayo tournament.
"We do expect our players to do well, they can compete against anyone. I don't expect us to be losing early, I believe we can compete favourably against anyone," said Nhokwara.
Meanwhile, the curtain came down on the Cranrid International Tennis Federation World Junior Tour on Saturday at Harare Sports Club with Great Britain's Jansen William beating Aayush Bhat 6-1, 7-6(4) in the boys singles final.
The girls title was won by Tamara Kostic of Austria, who beat South Africa's Heike Janse Van Vuuren 7-5, 6-1.
The doubles finals took place on Friday and Zimbabwe's Sasha Chimedza and Arina Valitova of Saint Kitts and Nevis won the girls title while the pair of Itay Bity from Israel and Italy's Federico Cina won the boys section.
For Zimbabwean players, Chimedza had an outstanding three weeks, winning the girls singles title in the first week and reaching the doubles finals with Tadiwanashe Mauchi before they lost.
In the second week, Chimedza reached the singles semi-finals before winning the doubles title in the last event on Friday. She lost in the singles quarter-finals.
It was the last event of three tournaments that began on October 25.
"I will say we had a very successful three weeks. More so looking at Sasha, she is still 14, and winning a J4 at 14, it's huge irrespective of maybe the number of participants. She did very well, even reaching the doubles final, and the (singles) quarter-finals in the third week... Unfortunately she got tired.
"A lot of our players, Tadiwanashe Mauchi and Tanya Midzi, they did very well, the girl child did us well on this one. We need to continue supporting the girl child and pushing the boys," said Nhokwara.